Christian Cooper, the former Marvel Comics editor who went viral earlier this summer after filming a woman who was harassing him while he was birdwatching in a New York park, made his return to comics yesterday with It's a Bird!, the first installment in DC's new digital-first anthology series Represent!, which aims to give underrepresented voices a chance to find a Big Two audience. Fans can get the first chapter now through participating digital platforms including readdc.com, Comixology, Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and more. Additional chapters of Represent! will be available digitally in 2021.
Cooper is obviously the headline-grabbing name on the first chapter, but It's a Bird! also featured work from Alitha E. Martinez, Mark Morales, Emilio Lopez, and Rob Clark Jr. It was edited by edited by Marie Javins and Liz Erickson.
"This digital series is designed to showcase and introduce creators traditionally underrepresented in the mainstream comic book medium," said executive editor Marie Javins in a statement. "We'll highlight both new and familiar voices, beginning with It's a Bird by writer Christian Cooper and artist Alitha E. Martinez, a semi-fictionalized account of Christian’s very real evolution from a kid with a pair of binoculars to a man in an unexpected media spotlight after an altercation with a woman walking her dog in Central Park."
In Cooper and Martinez’s story, Jules, a Black teenager, is given a pair of old binoculars as he heads out for a morning of bird-watching. "I hope young people read it in particular, and that they're inspired to keep the focus where it needs to be, which is on those we have lost and how we keep from losing more," said Cooper.
Martinez added, "I wish this story could have been that punctuation of, '…and we all lived happily ever after.' But it just keeps coming."
More from story collaborators Cooper, Martinez and Morales, can be found here.3comments
DC encourages you to share this story with friends and family and to talk about how you can inspire change in your communities. Many organizations — including Color of Change, Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, National Urban League, and the Bail Project — are also working to advance social justice and civil rights in support of #BlackLivesMatter.
"The thing I always come back to is, with comics, anything is possible," Cooper said. "With film, with television, there are budget limitations. With comics, there are no limits. Whatever you can put with pen on paper, can come to life and appear in ways that are so stylized that it intensifies the storytelling, and intensifies the drama, as Alitha has done."